Former Celgene Corp. Chairman and CEO Robert Hugin will challenge New Jersey’s U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez in this fall’s election, according to multiple published reports.
Hugin, who retired as Celgene CEO in 2016 and as chairman earlier this month, will run as a Republican against the two-term incumbent Democrat Menendez.
Hugin, who is scheduled to formally announce his candidacy Tuesday according to reports, will have to win the GOP primary in June before the November general election.
“Bob Hugin has lived the American Dream,” Deputy Campaign Manager Sarah Neibart told NJ Advance Media. “He is running for U.S. Senate to be an independent voice for New Jersey and to ensure that people in every community in our state can build better lives for themselves and their families. He will be a senator that New Jersey can be proud of.”
Menendez has been dogged by controversy, as the federal government tried him on corruption charges last year. The trial ended in a mistrial in November, and prosecutors ended efforts at a retrial in January.
However, some reports questioned how well Celgene’s record of raising drug prices might sit with Republican President Donald Trump, who has criticized such costs.
And Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Andrew Seidman pointed out in a tweet that Hugin has donated $4,800 to Menendez’s past campaigns.
Hugin has donated $4,800 to Menendez Senate campaigns. for what it’s worth.
— Andrew Seidman (@AndrewSeidman) February 12, 2018
— Matt Friedman (@MattFriedmanNJ) February 12, 2018